For every pledge, Novo Nordisk will make a donation to DHF

Novo Nordisk has generously offered to make a donation to Diabetes Hands Foundation (the nonprofit that runs TuDiabetes) for every pledge made on, up to $10,000.

Here are the details about the program, announced earlier today…

Novo Nordisk and Charlie Kimball Team Up to Challenge Diabetes Patients to Re-think How They Take Insulin
St. Petersburg, FL (March 24, 2011) – Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, is partnering with 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series driver Charlie Kimball to launch the educational program, Drive the Switch, encouraging diabetes patients who use insulin and caregivers to pledge to talk to their healthcare professional about options for insulin delivery, like the prefilled insulin pen device. Nearly 90 years since the discovery of insulin, Americans still have not embraced more recent options in insulin delivery. In fact, the United States lags behind the rest of the world, with less than 20 percent of people with diabetes using a prefilled insulin pen to inject their insulin . In other parts of the world, pen usage is as high as 85 percent, according to a 2008 survey .

For each person who pledges, Novo Nordisk will make a donation to Diabetes Hands Foundation up to a total of $10,000. Patients and caregivers will be able to pledge online by visiting Website visitors will also be able to see how many people have pledged, identify locations where Charlie and his car will appear throughout the 2011 season and learn about Novo Nordisk treatment options like the prefilled insulin device Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) FlexPen®.

“We are excited to be partnering with Charlie on this initiative since his story exemplifies how today’s insulin delivery devices can help patients manage their diabetes,” said Camille Lee, Vice President, Diabetes Marketing. “With devices like FlexPen®, the #1 selling prefilled insulin pen in the world, people with diabetes now have the ability to take their insulin with them on-the-go.”

Diagnosed with diabetes in 2007, Charlie Kimball uses Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) FlexPen® as part of his treatment regimen. Kimball also uses NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) to help manage his diabetes. As part of his race preparation, Kimball monitors his blood sugar closely before, during and after each race.

“I’m living proof that today’s insulin delivery device options can help you successfully manage your diabetes in the most challenging circumstances,” said Kimball, who drives the No. 83 Levemir® and NovoLog® FlexPen® Honda Dallara car for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. “I hope to serve as a role model for people living with diabetes to let them know that with the right tools, diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from pursuing your dreams.”

Novo Nordisk offers a comprehensive line of insulin analog products that are available for use with the FlexPen®, including Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) FlexPen®, NovoLog® [insulin aspart (rDNA origin) injection] FlexPen®, and NovoLog® Mix 70/30 (70% insulin aspart protamine suspension and 30% insulin aspart injection, [rDNA origin]) FlexPen®. FlexPen® is covered on more than 90 percent of insurance plans.

To learn more about the program and pledge to speak to your healthcare professional, visit You can also follow Kimball and his work with Novo Nordisk on Twitter - @racewithinsulin.

Great Idea. Unfortunately it will be zero pledges from Germany: “You are not eligible to participate in this program because you are not a resident of the United States or Puerto Rico. Thank you for your interest.”

I have to tell you, I made the pledge because I support tudiabetes and the DHF, but I am concerned.

I just sold my personal information to Novo Nordisk for marketing purposes. While I appreciate that this was made very clear, I have ongoing concerns that corporations will pervert social media and this forum for their own gain. I specifically do not trust drug or health insurance companies. I understand that obtaining support for DHF critically depends on corporate sponsorship. But I would ask that every effort be made to protect the interests of this community. Continue to request that these sorts of efforts be “transparent” and weigh the benefits to the community.

Personally, I’d rather give DHF $1 than sell my name to Novo Nordisk for marketting and have them give $1 to DHF. But I still made the pledge.

I also would be willing to support this campaign but for concerns related to Novo Nordisk’s relations with United Healthcare. Apparently, said relations degraded such that United Healthcare moved NovoLog from Tier 1 to Tier 3, effectively increasing its cost to the end user (me) by 250 percent. The effect, besides the obvious, forces NovoLog users to consider moving to Humalog (previously classified as Tier 3 but moved to Tier 1, I guess as a consolation prize).

Unfortunately, I will never be privy to the official story. Maybe it was United Healthcare wanting to save its precious shareholder profit and dollar; maybe it was Novo Nordisk wanting the same. I do know that United Healthcare has yet to officially notify me, a subscriber whose healthcare is allegedly of their concern – I learned of the price increase only through the sticker shock of my credit card bill.

Now that I think about it, I already give Novo Nordisk plenty of financial support.

I made the pledge. I want DHF to get the full $10,000.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

We were invited by Novo Nordisk to take an active role along with Charlie Kimball in this campaign and declined to do so, because the campaign (while it had an element of diabetes awareness) was focused on their brands and, as a nonprofit, we cannot endorse products.

I highly appreciate your support of DHF and TuDiabetes (regardless of you choosing to make the pledge or not). By all means: if you don’t feel comfortable completing the pledge form on the DriveTheSwitch site, don’t do it.